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Has the “Missing Day” in Joshua been proven scientifically?

    The following story has been circulating recently . . .

Did you know that the space program is busy proving that what has been called “myth” in the Bible is true? Mr. Harold Hill, President of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore Maryland, and a consultant in the space program, relates the following development: I think one of the most amazing things that God has for us today happened recently to our astronauts and space scientists at Green Belt, Maryland. They were checking the position of the sun, moon, and planets out in space where they would be, 100 years and 1000 years from now. We have to know this so we won’t send a satellite up and have it bump into something later on in its orbits. We have to lay out the orbits in terms of the life of the satellite, and where the planets will be, so the whole thing will not bog down. They ran the computer measurement back and forth over the centuries and it came to a halt. The computer stopped and put up a red signal, which meant that there was something wrong either with the information fed into it, or with the results as compared to the standards.

They called in the service department to check it out and they said “what’s wrong?” Well they found there is a day missing in space, in elapsed time. They scratched their heads and tore their hair. There was no answer. Finally, a Christian man on the team said, “You know, one time I was in Sunday school and they talked about the sun standing still.” While they didn’t believe him, they didn’t have an answer either, so they said “Show us.” He got a Bible and went back to the book of Joshua where they found a pretty ridiculous statement for any one with “common sense.” There they found the Lord saying to Joshua, “Fear them not, I have delivered them into thy hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.” Joshua was concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy and if darkness fell they would overpower them.(check references below.) So Joshua asked the Lord to make the sun stand still! That’s right-”The sun stood still and the moon stayed-and hasted not to go down about a whole day!”

They checked the computers going back into the time it was written and found it was close but not close enough. The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua’s day was 23 hours and 20 minutes-not a whole day. They read the Bible and there it was “about (approximately) a day.” These little words in the Bible are important, but they were still in trouble, because if you cannot account for 40 minutes you’ll still be in trouble, 1,000 years from now. Forty minutes had to be found because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits.

As the Christian employee thought about it, he remembered somewhere in the Bible where it said the sun went BACKWARDS. The scientists told him he was out of his mind, but they got out the Book and read these words in 2 Kings: Hezekiah, on his death-bed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah who told him that he was not going to die. Hezekiah asked for a sign as proof. Isaiah said, “Do you want the sun to go ahead 10 degrees?” Hezekiah said “It is nothing for the sun to go ahead 10 degrees, but let the shadow return backward 10 degrees.” Isaiah spoke to the Lord and the Lord brought the shadow ten degrees BACKWARD! Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes! Twenty-three hours and 20 minutes in Joshua, plus 40 minutes in Second Kings make the missing day in the universe! Isn’t it amazing?! Our God is rubbing their noses in His Truth!

References: Joshua 10:8, 12, 13; 2 Kings 20:9-11

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    From one of our readers . . .

The “missing day found” story is simply a Christian urban myth (this and other such legends really hurt the apologetic cause, unfortunately). While astronomers do indeed calculate the future orbits of space objects, it is not technologically possible to somehow “locate” Joshua’s missing day. Even without scientific knowledge we can deduce this simply on the basis of logic: that day long ago was not “missing”—-it simply paused, and then resumed. There is not even any direct evidence that the orbits of Earth or any other object were altered. If we would simply go back to the biblical text itself, we would see that the day didn’t go anywhere; we’re told only that the “sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day” (Jos. 10:13).

It was interesting when I looked for this on the Internet. I simply entered “missing day” in my search engine, and under Yahoo came up with dozens of results. In a discussion group one writer had this to say: “This story has been circulating in its NASA version at least since the 1960s, largely due to its promulgation by one Harold Hill, who says that he was present at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center when the above events allegedly took place. NASA denies that this ever occurred, and Hill, the former president of the Curtis Engine Company of Baltimore, was involved in diesel engine operations at Goddard and had no involvement with any computer operations.

“The story predates Hill’s NASA version, and goes back to Charles A. L. Totten’s “Joshua’s Long Day and the Dial of Ahaz: A Scientific Vindication” (1890). Hill published his version in Harold Hill, as told to Irene Burk Harrell, “How to Live Like a King’s Kid,” 1974, Logos International. (Logos International was a Christian publisher with no qualms about publishing phony testimonies—it also published Mike Warnke’s “The Satan Seller,” Michael Esses’ “Michael, Michael, Why Do You Hate Me?”, and Fernand Navarra’s “Noah’s Ark—I Touched It,” all of which have been debunked.)”.

I have read similar debunkings in sources I trust. One good resource to refer to would be the Christian Research Institute http://www.equip.org . Another writer http://answering-islam.org notes that the “July 1989 issue of “Bible-Science Newsletter” carries an excellent article which debunks this farce.” See also newsletter “Reason & Revelation,” August 1989, p. 31, published by Apologetics Press http://www.ApologeticsPress.org. And a very excellent analysis indeed is found at http://www.57piano.com/scispks.htm#Mark11.

There is apologetic value in ancient legends from various parts of the globe, however, including the following: “It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report ‘a long day.’ Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of ‘a long day’ appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as ‘Seven Rabits,’ which is the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine.” (Bible-Science Newsletter, Daily Reading Magazine, Supplement, Vol. VIII, No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.)

Additionally, the historical lore of the Aztecs, Peruvians, and Babylonians speak of a “day of twice natural length.” See http://www.zetatalk.com/theword/tword16a.htm ; see also Immanuel Velikovsky’s “Worlds in Collision.” If Joshua’s long day (not “missing” day) occurred—and of course I believe that it did—then we would expect its effects to show up in the historical records of other nations, and that is exactly what we find.

Unfortunately there are so many Christians who do not first check out a story before they begin to use it in their apologetics. A comparable example is reports of partially rotted dinosaur remains having been discovered, when in all likelihood they are the remains of basking sharks that take on a dinosaur-like appearance when half-rotted.

Related Topics: Apologetics